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Three weird and wonderful barrels including Red Dead Online poker restrictions, Tom Dwan and Daniel Cates teaming up, and Annette Obrestad is the makeup queen.

Life sucks.

Kids scream because their angel wings don’t make them fly, wives won’t have sex with you because there’s no connection, and let’s not get into the Game of Thrones finale.

Fortunately, game producers, Rockstar, have the answer: Red Dead Online. The online blockbuster allowing you to roam around the Wild West like Clint Eastwood has cut the beta umbilical cord, and despite a few hiccups, it seems an excellent way for you to disappear from your sucky life.

Those hiccups.

One of them seemed to be piles of dead horses. I know, weird. But the one that may bother readers of this little ditty is the inability to play poker on the game if you live in a region that’s banned gambling.

Crazy, but true.

Playing poker in a saloon seems to be one of the most exciting games within a game, and players have gone to the Red Dead subreddit to complain about the lack of flops, turns and rivers.

Here’s the official response from Rockstar.

We are sorry to let you know that the availability of Poker in Red Dead Online is dependent on regional laws and regulations and may not be available to all players. In short, poker won’t be available in countries where online gambling is restricted or illegal. We apologize if this had caused any inconvenience.

It’s an odd decision because you can’t play poker on Red Dead Online for real money. The game allows you to spend fiat money to purchase gold bars used for microtransactions within the game, but you can’t play poker with gold bars. Instead, you have to use virtual cash, and you can’t exchange gold bars for virtual money, so gambling is impossible.

That hasn’t stopped Red Dead Online from banning it, which makes the game more lifelike given half of the world has also banned it. Don’t worry; you can still shoot the shit out of people.

Tom Dwan and Jungleman Playing Beer Pong

Poker’s grapevine was buzzing this week after Daniel “Jungleman” Cates released an Instagram video of him playing beer pong in tandem with Tom Dwan against Joe Stapleton and Peter Latham.

The poker world would love to believe that Dwan and the Jungleman are mortal enemies after Dwan pulled the plug on the “Durrr Challenge,” but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

The pair joined forces during the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Montenegro to play beer pong despite Dwan bailing from the challenge after 19,335 hands saw Jungleman jump into a $1,251,059 lead. If Cates were to finish up at the end of 50,000 hands, Dwan would have to pay him $1.5m, and if Dwan were to finish $1 up, then Jungleman would have to pay him $500,000.

With the money of that magnitude currently off the table, it wouldn’t surprise you if Jungleman released an Instagram video of the pair boxing, and not beer ponging, but in my experience, in and around the Triton Series, the pair seem to be on good terms.

Dwan is a Triton Poker ambassador, and Jungleman is a two-time Triton champion, including picking up a win the day after that beer pong challenge.

Annette Obrestad Vlogging With a Difference

Annette Obrestad has won close to $4m playing live, and $2.8m playing online under the pseudonym ‘Annette_15’, and amongst her many successes includes winning the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event in 2007 for £1m a day before her 19th birthday.

With the likes of Doug Polk, Daniel Negreanu and Andrew Neeme making vlogging chic, Obrestad is joining the army, but not in the way one would suspect.

The Las Vegas-based Norwegian star has created a YouTube Channel called ‘Annette’s Makeup Corner’ where she delivers makeup tips. Obrestad has more than 8.5k subscribers learning about eyeshadow palette redesigns, lipstick product reviews, and how to apply magnetic lashes.

Check it out.

The post 3:Barrels: Red Dead problems; Dwan and Jungle tag team; Obrestad on makeup appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

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A collection of stories from the world of online poker including the GGNetwork chief on Short-Deck, a Winning Poker Network upgrade, a Brazilian Sèrie A poker linkup, and an update from the Spring Championship of Online Poker.

The United States Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station lies at the site of the South Pole and has been permanently manned since 1956. I wonder if the current occupants are competing in the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP)?

This trio is.

Maksim “MAMOHT_T” Mamonov has taken down the SCOOP 36 (H) $530 No-Limit Hold’em PKO Six-Max beating 2,376 entrants to win the $87,440.79 first prize. Mamonov has earned more than $7.4m playing online tournaments. It’s the Russian’s second highest score, behind the $181,000 he won for finishing third in a 2013 SCOOP event.

‘Hello_totti’ won SCOOP 38 (H) $2,100 No-Limit Hold’em Four-Max winning $112,198.72 after taking the heads off 297-entrants. ‘Hello_totti’ has won more than $9.7m playing online tournaments, and in April he won the 105-entrant $25,500 buy-in, $2.5m GTD Powerfest Championship event on partypoker for $643,125 (playing under the pseudonym ‘PhileasFogg’).

Finally, ‘Raise Your Edge’ founder and many people’s vote for best online player alive, ‘bencb789,’ won SCOOP 69 (H) $1,050 No-Limit Hold’em, beating 548-entrants, and Michael ‘merla888’ Gathy, heads-up, to take the $96,735.51 first prize.

Head of GGNetwork Talks Short-Deck

PokerFuse Pro continues to do some stellar work, this time securing an exclusive interview with the Head of GGNetwork, Jean-Christophe Antoine. A paywall prevents me from reading the full interview, but there was a preview posted on PokerFuse’s free website, and of interest was Antoine’s views on Short-Deck.

The GG Network Head Honcho talked about his awareness of the viral nature of Short-Deck, and how his team plans to bide their time introducing the game on GG as they believe keeping their powder dry enables them to create a more ‘appealing’ game.

Antoine also talked about their version of Short-Deck having ‘additional perks,’ and why not – GG’s Ambassador, Bryn Kenney has gained some experience playing Short-Deck on the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Kenney is helping in the background on this one.

“We will probably launch it sometime in 2019,” said Antoine.

Short Deck originated in live cash games in Asia before the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series introduced the world to the live tournament version in 2018. The popularity has since surged with the World Series of Poker (WSOP) adding Short-Deck bracelet events to their schedules in Las Vegas and Rozvadov, and Poker Central added Short-Deck games to the ARIA High Roller schedule.

The game is also available online with PokerStars, partypoker, Aconcagua Network, Chico Network, and The Winning Poker Network (WPN) all hosting free and real money games.

WPN Software Upgrade Leaves Notes Behind

And talking about the WPN, the American-facing online poker network is currently rolling out a new software update, and it seems they’ve made the same mistake as 888Poker.

WPN released a beta version of the new look into the orbit of the play money games back in April, and after feedback, the team rolled it out across the real money platform.

The one major transgression is the failure to allow players to retain their notes in the new version of the software. Note taking is a vital part of the game for many professionals and non-professionals alike, with some people building up dossiers over many years. To see them vanish in the blink of an eye is an own goal for any online poker operator.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” said a WPN representative.

Well, that’s ok then.

Cruzeiro Launches Dedicated Poker League

Finally, Brazilian Série A side, Cruzeiro, has entered the online poker market by partnering with PPPoker to provide tournaments and leagues for their supporters.

The Chinese gaming group, Elex Tech owns the PPPoker platform, which is available in more than 60 countries. As part of the deal, the branding of PPPoker will appear on the shorts of the Cruzeiro first team kit throughout the 2019/20 season.

The post Virtual Rail: GGNetwork on Short Deck; WPN upgrade; Cruzeiro and PPPoker appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

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Poker Central partners with CBS to extend the coverage of the World Series of Poker to more eyeballs than ever before.

Look into the rearview mirror at the coverage of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), and the picture is bleak. For years, broadcasters shunned the pinnacle of poker privilege with fans restricted to the highlight reel, but all that changed in 2017 when Poker Central acquired global rights.

Today, when the WSOP sprints into Vegas like a greyhound on heat the fans expect nothing more than top-notch live stream coverage, and expert commentary and analysis, and for those living in North America and Australia there is a special treat this year.

Poker Central has partnered with CBS to extend the coverage of the WSOP to even more eyeballs. The 4 million subscribers who pay for CBS All Access will receive 25 days of coverage, eight days will be exclusive to PokerGO, with eight days shown across both platforms. Also, CBS Sports Network will air highlight shows, as will CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports app, and CBS Sports HQ.

Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President of Programming, CBS Sports, called the WSOP “the pinnacle of the game”, and said he was “pleased” to bring poker’s iconic poker festival to fans across the CBS platforms. Sam Simmons, President of Poker Central, noted that the reach and position of CBS across the globe made them the “perfect partner” for Poker Central.

Commentators Lon McEachern, Ali Nejad and David Tuchman will deliver the action helped by a rotating cast of pros.

Here is the schedule in full:

5/30 13:00 $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty Final Table (Event #2) – CBS All Access/PokerGO

5/31 13:00 BIG 50 – $500 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #3) PokerGO

6/2 13:00 $1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better Final Table (Event #4) CBS All Access

6/3 TBD High Roller – $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em for the 50th Annual Final Table (Event #5) PokerGO

6/4 19:00 $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack Final Table (Event #9) CBS All Access

6/5 13:00 $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #8) PokerGO

6/6 13:00 $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #11) CBS All Access/PokerGO

6/7 13:00 BIG 50 – $500 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #3) CBS All Access

6/8 13:00 $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #15) PokerGO

6/9 13:00 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table (Event #18) CBS All Access

6/10 13:00 $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Final Table (Event #20) CBS All Access

6/11 13:00 $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Final Table (Event #21) CBS All Access/PokerGO

6/12 13:00 Millionaire Maker – $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #19) PokerGO

6/13 13:00 $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo 8 or Better Final Table (Event #27) CBS All Access

6/14 13:00 $10,000 HORSE Final Table (Event #29) CBS All Access/PokerGO

6/15 13:00 $2,620 No-Limit Hold’em Marathon Final Table (Event #26) CBS All Access

6/16 13:00 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #32) CBS All Access

6/17 13:00 $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout Final Table (Event #36) CBS All Access/PokerGO

6/18 15:00 $800 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack Final Table (Event #37) CBS All Access

6/19 13:00 $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Final Table (Event #40) CBS All Access

6/20 13:00 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Final Table (Event #41)CBS All Access/PokerGO

6/21 19:00 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty Final Table (Event #44) CBS All Access

6/22 13:00 $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller Final Table (Event #45) CBS All Access

6/23 13:00 $1,000/$10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em (Event #47) CBS All Access/PokerGO

6/24 21:00 $800 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack 8-Handed Final Table (Event #53) CBS All Access

6/25 13:00 $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Final Table (Event #52) PokerGO

6/26 13:00 Monster Stack – $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #50) CBS All Access

6/27 15:00 $50,000 Poker Players Championship Final Table (Event #58) PokerGO

6/28 13:00 $50,000 Poker Players Championship Final Table (Event #58) PokerGO

6/29 19:00 $400 COLOSSUS Final Table (Event #61) CBS All Access

6/30 13:00 $1,500 Omaha Mix Final Table (Event #63) CBS All Access

7/1 13:00 $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table (Event #65) CBS All Access

7/2 21:00 $1,000 Mini Main Event Final Table (Event #69) CBS All Access

7/3 19:00 $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #64) CBS All Access

7/4 13:00 $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Final Table (Event #70) CBS All Access

7/11 17:00 $1000+$111 Little One for One Drop Final Table (Event #75) CBS All Access

7/12 13:00 $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #79) CBS All Access

7/13 13:00 $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Final Table (Event #83) CBS All Access/PokerGO

7/14 13:00 $1,500 50th Annual Bracelet Winners Only No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #81) CBS All Access

7/15 19:00 The Closer – $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table (Event #84) CBS All Access

7/16 13:00 $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Final Table (Event #86) CBS All Access

The post CBS partners with Poker Central to air WSOP bracelet events appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

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Dominik Nitsche readies to unveil his new poker training site “DTO Poker”, and Jimmy Fricke takes his knowledge of poker training into the Esports realm.

You’re not going to find Dominik Nitsche sitting at the poker table wearing sunglasses; turtle neck sweater covering his throbbing jugular, a hoodie covering his head.

The 888Poker Ambassador and German High Roller star doesn’t believe his edge comes from ‘superhuman reads.’ It comes from hours upon hours of study and play forged to increased the likelihood that he will make the right decision more often than the wrong one.

Nitsche has won more than $18m playing live tournaments, including a World Poker Tour (WPT) title, and four World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets. Online, he has earned close to $5m playing tournaments, and I imagine a windshield smashing amount playing online cash games.

If you want to emulate the man, you’re in luck.

Nitsche is due to travel to Las Vegas to appear in an 888Poker Poker After Dark special alongside Chris Moorman, Jennifer Tilly, Ali Imsirovic, Randall Emmett and Phil Hellmuth, and in a recent tweet to promote the event, Nitsche declared, “Super excited to be playing this. Have a big announcement to make once the show starts.”

Kevin Mathers asked for more information, and Nitsche responded by posting a link to a splash page for a new poker training site spearheaded by the man himself.

Nitsche is a fan of GTO poker, so one assumes the ‘DTO Poker Trainer’ app stands for ‘Dominik Theory Optimal’.

I spoke to Nitsche at the Triton Poker Series in Jeju last year, where I asked him about his theories on flow states within poker, and his response lays the groundwork or expectations of DTO Poker.

“The thing with ‘flow’ for me,” says Nitsche. “I am not a big believer in the concept in poker. I don’t think it applies because you do most of your work away from the table. When I sit down, things don’t change; my environment doesn’t affect me. It’s always the same game. I don’t believe in having superhuman reads.

“It’s all about poker decisions. It doesn’t matter if I sit down and lose my stack in the first hand, or win the tournament. Poker decisions are always the same. It’s a function of practice. If I play a lot and study a lot before a tournament, I make better decisions. Even if I am running bad or good, the decisions come to me within three seconds of the shot clock.”

If you want to think like that, then register your email address and wait for further information.

Here’s the blurb on the front of the splash page, and a link to sign-up.

Have you ever wondered how the world’s top poker professionals prepare themselves to compete? Look no further than DTO Poker – Your Personal Poker Trainer.

Pair the convenience of your mobile device with expert strategy input from Dominik Nitsche, and you’ve got the most effective tool to help you win at poker in 2019.

Jimmy Fricke Announces Higher Level Gaming

Nitsche sits behind a long list of pro poker players who have released online training sites, or third-party apps to help improve your game. Think Phil Galfond (Run It Once), Doug Polk (Upswing Poker), bencb (Raise Your Edge), and Max Silver (Snapshove).

But what about poker pros creating online training content for Esports fans?

Jimmy Fricke has earned more than $1.6m playing live tournaments including winning the Bellagio Cup for close to half a million bucks and close to $800,000 for that famous runner-up finish to Gus Hansen in the 2007 Aussie Millions Main Event (hand-for-hand details of which ended up in Hansen’s book ‘Every Hand Revealed.’)

You don’t hear from Fricke on the live tournament scene these days and with good reason. Fricke has been working his butt off to create an Esports online training site hobnobbing off the online poker training model.

Writing on Twitter, Fricke said:

“Officially announcing Higher Level Gaming, an esports training site based on the poker training site model. Launching May 1st. It’s been a long time coming, and I’ve never worked as hard on anything before. Sign up for updates on the website, and you might get free membership.”

Players can sign up for a free trial, and if you want to dip into your pocket, it’s as cheap as apple pips ($9.99 per month). ​

The post Nitsche set to launch ‘DTO Poker’; Fricke launches Higher Level Gaming appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

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The Asian Poker Tour inks a deal with Philippine-based Dafabet, and Zhu Yong wins the Asian Poker League in Vietnam.

The Asian Poker Tour (APT) is no longer shivering beneath the bed sheets. Dafabet has struck a match, lit the kindle, and has climbed in next to them swaddled in fur.

The Philippines-based online gambling giant has agreed a ‘multi-event’ partnership that begins in Seoul, trundles on through Ho Chi Minh and Incheon, before possibly continuing to other APT stops.

The new relationship begins during APT Seoul 29 May to 9 June at The Walkerhill Paradise Casino where the Dafabet brand will be on display during the Main Event, Head Hunter side event, and the player’s party.

APT Seoul promises $300k in guarantees with the $1,100 buy-in Main Event scheduled May 31 to June 4, and the $1,700 buy-in Championship Event scheduled June 5 to 9 (both are $150k GTD events).

There will also be seven high roller tournaments ranging in price from $1,800 to $2,700, and for the first time in APT history, a shot clock will be in play for all events, as will the Big Blind Ante.

The poem of Dafabet’s existence begins in 2004, and they’ve since become one of the most recognisable gambling brands in the world thanks to their affiliation with English Premier League and Championship teams.

Previous partnerships include Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland, Burnley, Everton and Fulham. They are also the shirt sponsor for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League, and the sponsors of the Welsh Premier League. Alan Shearer, Jimmy White and Steve McManaman have all represented the brand in the past, and they have also sponsored the Esports team Fnatic.

Zhu Yong Wins the APL Vietnam Main Event

Sticking with Asian poker for a few lines longer, and Zhu Yong has taken down a six-hour final table, eliminating six opponents, at the end of the Asian Poker League (APL) Main Event in the Pro Poker Club in Ho Chi Minh.

Yong’s victory was well-deserved, and he closed it off by beating ‘Hong Kong’ Nguyen in only seven hands of heads-up action culminating in his lucky hand A9 beating A2.

Final Table Results

1st Zhu Yong – China – VND 1700,440,000
2nd Hong Kong Nguyen – Canada – VND 1,192,360,000
3rd Melvin Tay Yao Loon – Singapore – VND 767,320,000
4th Huynh Vinh Quang – USA – VND 552,670,000
5th Vu Trung Thanh – Vietnam – VND 424,130,000
6th Vu Duc Trung – Vietnam – VND 342,370,000
7th Feng Zhao – Singapore – VND 284,450,000
8th Pham Quoc Anh – Vietnam – VND 226,710,000
9th Chu Thai Thinh – Vietnam – VND 170,050,000

The post Asian Poker Tour inks Dafabet deal; Zhu Yong wins Asian Poker League Vietnam appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

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Chris Moneymaker follows in the footsteps of Jason Somerville, Lex Veldhuis, and Patrik Antonius by organising and running a live tournament emblazoned with his name and sigil.

Remember that game you played in school: ‘follow the leader.’ One wonders if everyone secretly craved to be at the head of the line. Then you had those courageous enough to grab it by the scruff, and the rest were unable to bust beyond the thick ice of low self-esteem.

Chris Moneymaker is playing the game.

He’s taken the scruff.

The 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Champion is as popular in poker as an ancient monster tale is to a Scottish Loch. He remains one of the longest surviving members of the PokerStars ambassadorial team, and last year, they took a punt on his popularity by promoting him as the head of the Moneymaker PokerStars Players’ No-Limit Hold ’em (PSC) Tour.

The idea for the 11-event schedule, $86 buy-in Main Event, $30,000 Platinum Pass for the winner, tour across America was an unmitigated success, and it seems to have sparked an idea in that noggin of his.

Moneymaker is back for a second shot at spearheading a live tour. No longer as green as a kiwi, and without the support of his lords and masters, The Moneymaker Poker Series will run wild throughout Australia and the USA in July and August.

Here are the dates:

Jul 22-28 – Brisbane Australia (Acacia Ridge)
Jul 30 – Aug 3 – Adelaide Australia (Royal Poker Club)
Aug 14-18 – Edinburgh Texas (The House Club Poker Room & Lounge)
Aug 20-25 – Corpus Christi Texas (Poker Kings Card House)

There are no details yet, only a splash page, but Moneymaker did speak to CardsChat to share his thoughts on a potential $500 buy-in Main Event at each stop with entry fees depending on the market.

PokerStars lack of involvement is nothing more than a calculated guess based on the lack of brand presence on the splash page and throughout social media. If the angels that take care of him are choosing to stay on the other sides of the Pearly Gates on this one, it’s understandable.

PokerStars exited the Australian online poker market in 2017 after Aussie lawmakers deemed the act illegal. The US market is the holy grail for any online poker room, and an affiliation with a live tour that’s about to enter Texas is unwise. Texan poker rooms squeeze into loopholes with fingers crossed in the hope that regulators armed to the teeth with pieces of paper that can slice off your head don’t follow.

As recently as Monday, Moneymaker posted a short video on Twitter promoting the $300 buy-in, $250,000 GTD Texas Poker Championship Series urging players to turn up and support their local card rooms in a region as confused about the legality of live poker as a camel on an ice rink.

Texan card rooms manoeuvre in the greyness of the law by offering card room membership to remove traditional rake, and the ban on alcohol sales is bypassed by telling punters to bring their own.

Player Power

Moneymaker is not the only player with a brand powerful enough to stand alone. Twitch has enabled Jason Somerville, and Lex Veldhuis to create tribes sufficient to develop live tournament series’ (Run It Up and Lex Live), and Patrik Antonius recently held the Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge (PAPC) in Estonia in a bid to promote his new app First Land of Poker (FLOP).

The post Moneymaker’s ‘Moneymaker Poker Series’ is another show of player power appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

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Online poker news from the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker, the partypoker KO Series, and the GG Series. 

Baklava is a Middle Eastern sweet made from filo pastry, nuts and honey. Sweet-toothed people who don’t eat cane sugar love it. It’s not to be confused with a balaclava, which is a hood you slip over your face when robbing a bank.

Poker is a game played with a deck of cards, and No-Limit Hold’em is the most popular format. It’s not to be confused with the poker sadists use during sexual intercourse, or the one non-sadists use to stoke a fire.

Currently, in parts of the world not run by lunatics, people are playing online poker for vast sums of money. Some of them are eating baklava, a few wear balaclavas, and you might even find one or two eating baklava while wearing a balaclava. I don’t want to deviate towards the sadists, because, after all, this is an article about poker.

Guilherme “guilherme12” Decourt has does something few ever have – he’s won two PokerStars Spring Championships of Online Poker (SCOOP) titles in a single sitting. The Brazilian conquered a field of 1,359-entrants in SCOOP 33 (M) $109 buy-in, $125k GTD PLO-8 for $21,102, and then marched through a field of 317-entrants in SCOOP 37 (H) $530 buy-in, $125k GTD NLO8 for $24,170.41. Boys from Brazil also won the L and M versions of SCOOP 37.

Joao “Naza114” Vieira didn’t win two SCOOPS in a single sitting, but he did win two in a week. The Portuguese star’s latest victory came in SCOOP 24 (H) $2,100 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. beating 89-entrants to win the $48,505 first prize.

The former PocketFives World #1, Chris “ImDaNuts” Oliver, beat 1,325 players to win SCOOP 27 (H) $1,050 NLHE PKO for $190,049.96. It’s the fourth highest online score for Oliver, and his second COOP title after winning the $5,200 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller during the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) last year for $250,935. All told, Oliver has won $11.9m playing online poker.

Kenny “SpaceyFCB” Hallaert also won a SCOOP title after beating 247-entrants in SCOOP 29 (H) $2,100 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo for $94,989.94 after coming through a final table that included Andras “probirs” Nemeth (2nd) and Martin “M.nosbocaJ” Jacobson (6th). It’s Hallaert’s second SCOOP title after winning a $1k in 2017 for a career-high $147,938.

There were also SCOOP titles for Joris “BillLewinsky” Ruijs who won SCOOP 32 (M) $530 buy-in, $1.25m GTD No-Limit Hold’em for $217,139.56. The Dutchman waltzed through 3,008-entrants to take that one down. Christopher “lissi stinkt” Frank won the 3,305-entrant SCOOP 28 (L) $55 buy-in, 3,305 entrants Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Max for $23,757.50, and Andreas “Skjervoy” Tobergsen topped a field of 201-entrants to win the $5,200 buy-in PLO High Roller for $197,209.

Outside of SCOOP, and Patrick “pads1161” Leonard continued his ascent to the top of the PocketFives World Rankings after chopping the $1,050 Sunday Warm-Up on PokerStars with the Estonian Markku “markovitsus” Koplimaa. The pair waded through a 304-entrant field including Vladimir Troyanovskiy (4th) and Adrian Mateos (8th). Leonard collected $50,974 with the Estonian earning $49,068.

Leonard is going to have to take up hypnotism, and then put Niklas “Lena900” Åstedt under his spell if he’s going to take that number one spot. The Swede is simply unstoppable, and this weekend, he took down the 249-entrant $1,050 Sunday Supersonic for $48,876.

Åstedt wasn’t the only Swede sweeping up this weekend – Simon “HellmuthTheGr8” Mattsson won the 198-entrant $5,200 buy-in, $1m GTD Championship Event at the partypoker KO Series for $215,410 beating fellow Swede ‘haddoken’ in heads-up action.

Last but not least, Natural8 Ambassador, Michael Soyza, won the 45-entrant, $5,000 buy-in, $150k GTD GG Series Super High Roller for $91,182.

The post Virtual Rail: 2-SCOOPS for Decourt, wins for Leonard, Mattsson and Åstedt appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

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A trio of World Series of Poker tales including Chris Lane winning the final World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event of the season, a bracelet winner with a potential WSOP anthem, and good news for New Jersey online grinders.

The 2018/19 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) has gone the way of the Dodo after Chris Lane took down the $1,700 buy-in Main Event at New Orleans.

The 582-entrant event ensured the $881,000 prize pool beat the crap out of the $750,000 guarantee, and Lane, from Jackson Mississipi, banked the $185,158 first prize along with the final seat into the WSOP Global Casino Championships, and the chance to win a bracelet.

Lane overcame a final table devoid of star status and experience to earn his most significant win. The graphic designer has been playing poker for 6-7 years, and this is his third crown. Lane’s first-ever cash was a victory in the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Main Event in Vicksburg back in 2014.

Here are the final table results:

Final Table Results

1. Chris Lane – $185,158*
2. Dustin Stewart – $114,528
3. Jon Guidry – $83,747
4. John Cressend – $62,144
5. John Templeton – $46,758
6. William Phillips – $35,666
7. Yousef Saleh – $27,581
8. Allen Brivic – $21,620
9. Stephen Bierman – $17,176

*$10k seat into the Global Casino Championship.

Three other well-known pros that exchanged poker seats for bar stools late into this one include the WPT Champions Club member, Dylan Wilkerson (15th), the 2017 Milly Maker runner-up, Dejuante Alexander (18th) and New York’s friendly neighbourhood Spiderman, Peter Parker (50th).

WSOP Bracelet Winner, Rulah Divine Releases “Eye of the Grinder” Single.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have used a form of musical torture known as ‘earworm’ where they play a song on repeat until the sufferer ends up schizophrenic, and that’s precisely how I used to feel after six-weeks in the Rio listening to that goddam soundtrack.

It could get worse.

In 2017, Rulah Divine turned a $60 online satellite into a $262,501 score and a WSOP bracelet to boot after taking down a 1,750-entrant $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event.

Divine has a fondness for all things WSOP, and as we head into the final weeks of the build-up to the 50th Anniversary, the bracelet winner has released a hip hop single “The Eye of the Grinder.”

According to reports, the Las Vegas resident is in discussion with WSOP officials to shoot a music video once the mothership is in situ in the Amazon Room.

Divine believes in his product.

“Nobody has really created a great poker song since Kenny dropped ‘The Gambler’ all those years ago,” Divine told PokerNews. “If anything, I feel like I’ve created the second-best poker song ever made out of respect for the legend. As a poker community we needed an anthem and I was more than happy to fulfill this need. Poker and hip-hop music are my two biggest passions and it was great to be able to merge them both together.”

Here is that anthem.

New Jersey Players Can Compete in ‘Some’ WSOP.com Events

Players will have more opportunities than ever to win an online bracelet at the 50th Anniversary special, with nine slivers of gold up for grabs in that format.

There’s been some confusion over the rules of engagement for New Jersey-based WSOP.com players, and recently the WSOP announced that the first two online bracelet events would be open to New Jersey-based players.

The delayed decision was down to the altered Wire Act opinion decreeing that interstate online gambling is illegal. Fortunately for NJ based grinders, the deadline for the likes of the WSOP to comply with this new opinion won’t come into force until June 14.

Here are those nine bracelet events.

Sunday, June 2 – $400 No-Limit Hold’em*

Sunday, June 9 – $600 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha *

Sunday, June 16 – $600 Knockout Bounty No-Limit Hold’em

Wednesday, June 19 – $500 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack

Sunday, June 23 – $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em

Sunday, June 30 – $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship

Wednesday, July 3 – $3,200 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em

Sunday, July 7 – $800 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em

Sunday, July 14 – $500 Summer Saver No-Limit Hold’em

* Players in NJ can compete in these events.​

The post Lane wins WSOPC New Orleans; Eye of the Grinder; good news for NJ players appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

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Three stories from the World Poker Tour including Will Berry taking charge as the WPT Choctaw Main Event Final Table heads to the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas, Dominick Sannino wins the DeepStacks event in Parx, and the Gardens Poker Festival prepares to open Season XVIII.

When it comes to World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Event Final Tables, the one that began in Choctaw and will end in Las Vegas feels like an untouched field of snow to all but one of the finalists.

The $3,700 buy-in WPT Choctaw Main Event attracted 577-entrants, and Will Berry will lead the final six when the action resumes at the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas on May 31.

Berry finished 15th in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December, and ran deep in this event last year, finishing 38th. It’s his maiden WPT Final Table.

Berry is in esteemed company.

Craig Varnell is a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, who will be making his third WPT Main Event final table appearance. Varnell finished fourth in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival Main Event in July, and also finished third in the WPT Choctaw Main Event in 2016. He does have one WPT title to his name after winning the 5,113-entrant WPT500 at the ARIA in 2015.

Chip stacks belonging to Berry and Varnell double that of Nick Pupillo. The multiple Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Main Event winner begins third in chips. Pupillo has made several WPTDeepStacks Main Event final tables, but never anything like this.

Here are the final table chip counts and payouts.

Final Table Chip Counts

1. Will Berry – 7,575,000
2. Craig Varnell – 6,230,000
3. Nick Pupillo – 3,135,000
4. Trung Pham – 2,600,000
5. Austin Lewis – 2,560,000
6. Stacey Jones – 980,000

Three men who reached the lemon peel in the bottom of the glass of this one includes the man who wins World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold rings for fun, Josh Reichard (15th), the three-time WSOP bracelet winner, David Pham (17th), and the recent WSOPC Choctaw Main Event winner, Dave Alfa (22nd).


1st: $379,990*
2nd: $243,330
3rd: $179,430
4th: $133,770
5th: $100,850
6th: $76,890

*Inc. $15k Tournament of Champions buy-in.

Dominick Sannino Wins WPTDeepStacks Title at Parx Casino

From Choctaw to Parx and Dominick Sannino has taken down the $1,600 buy-in WPTDeepStacks Big Stax Main Event. Three hundred seventy-four entrants squeezed into Parx Casino, and Sannino told the WPT press that despite the money being ‘great’, it’s the trophies that matter.

It’s the second live tournament win for the sentimental New Yorker, and it’s the second time he has broken his personal best ITM finish in the past two months after finishing 6/2199 in a $600 buy-in DeepStack Event held during the Borgata Spring Poker Open for $48,953.

Final Table Results

1st: Dominick Sannino – $116,153*
2nd: Andrew Wu – $79,222
3rd: Abraham Faroni – $50,930
4th: James Brady – $33,450
5th: Travis Greenawalt – $25,760
6th: Matt Kurtz – $21,311
7th: Daniel Fried – $17,859
8th: David Butkus – $14,601
9th: Carl Copeland – $11,316

*: Includes the $3,000 championship prize package.

The Gardens Poker Festival to be the First Event of Season XVIII

The WPT Gardens Poker Festival will be the first televised event of Season XVII.

The Hawaiian Gardens in California hosts the $5,000 WPT Gardens Poker Festival Main Event, July 20 – 25, and the casino is giving away a brand new BMX X1 to the winner. Live satellites begin July 12.

Last July, Simon Lam defeated 584-entrants to win the $565,055 first prize in the $5,000 WPT Gardens Main Event, and Elio Fox beat 18-entrants to win the $25,000 High Roller for $225,000. In January, Frank Stepuchin conquered a field of 253-entrants in the $10,000 WPT Gardens Poker Championship Event, earning $548,825, and Darren Elias won an 11-entrant $25,000 High Roller for $192,500.

It’s the third event stencilled into the Series XVIII schedule alongside WPT UK from Dusk Till Dawn (DTD) in Nottingham September 30, and WPT Montreal from the Playground Poker Club on October 27.

The post Berry leads WPT Choctaw FT; Sannino wins in Parx; Gardens curtain lifter appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

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Lee Davy shares his votes for the seven categories of poker excellence scheduled for high praise at the World Series of Poker’s ‘First Fifty Honors’ celebration, including a mid-opinion piece decision to not vote at all.

There is always an ache in my heart at this time of the year. After three years of World Series of Poker (WSOP) abstinence, I still miss the Rio. I feel like a wolf removed from the taiga and dumped into a zoo. My zoo is currently Starbucks in Cardiff city centre.

I made my debut in 2011, working for PokerNews as a live reporter. I was in for the entire series, with a week respite to play $1/$2 cash games in Bally’s with visiting friends. It was the only year that I worked the full series in this capacity. Days of the week vanished, ambushed by Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and so on. My lungs ached for air, brutalised by the chill of the air conditioning units, carbon dioxide and bad beats.

In the ensuing years, I divided my time between playing in WSOP events and live reporting. I eventually put a bullet through the last part of that tandem and restricted my work to interviews.

I bow down to the strength and tenacity of those live reporters. As I have learned from countless interviews with the best in the business, you have to love what you do with a molten iron passion. I didn’t. I still don’t. That’s why I found it so hard to handle it.

The WSOP is not all roses and bubblegum; there is also a toxicity to it if you are open to the transmutation of energy in the Rio – desperation, sadness, and pointlessness. Hours of life spewed into nothingness as we fling cards into the muck, or photograph, interview or write about those flingers.

Despite my love-hate relationship with the place, there was always something special about the WSOP Main Event. It’s a feeling that’s challenging to describe, one that you get when amid the rabid frenzy of a pack that’s come together to experience the same thing. Sporting events and music concerts create this feeling, but I have never felt it so beautifully as at the beginning of the Main Event – and I’ve never played in the thing.

One day.

One time.

I have plenty of WSOP memories, and in casting my votes for the winners of the ‘First Fifty Honors’ celebration due to be held on Saturday, June 29, I am leading with these.

1. Most Memorable WSOP TV Hand

The hand that emerges from my memory is Jonathan Duhamel’s axe to the heart of Matt Affleck in the 2010 WSOP Main Event.

There are only two tables left in the tournament, the finishing line is in sight, and Duhamel opens to 575k, holding pocket jacks in the cutoff. Affleck raises to 1.55m on the button, Duhamel four-bets to 3.925m, and Affleck calls.

Flop: Td9c7h

Duhamel checks, Affleck bets 5m, and Duhamel calls.

Turn: Qd

Duhamel checks, Affleck moves all-in for 11.6m, and Duhamel calls.

River: 8d.

Duhamel becomes the overwhelming chip leader and goes onto win the tournament; Affleck exits in 15th place for $500,165.

There are many things I love about this hand. Firstly, it’s the guts of both of these players to go for it with the end in sight. Amateurs freeze hoping to find a better spot, praying that everyone else does the dirty work, but these two just went for it.

I also love the tension and the emotion of the hand. It’s a quick hand, but full of tension and the juxtaposition of sadness and joy is primal (I also love the cheeky devil like grin that Duhamel slides into his hoodie after hitting his gin river card).

We can empathise with both of these players.

Brené Brown teaches that empathy is not about the innate knowledge of real experience, but more about experiencing the emotion. Who hasn’t felt the high of extreme happiness, and the crushing blow of sadness?

2. Best Overall WSOP Performance (Single Year)

I hate to say it, but Chris Ferguson’s Player of the Year performance in 2017 was incredible. Ferguson’s involvement that year set alight an internal moral debate for me. There’s a part of me that wanted him punished for his silence on the Full Tilt Poker scandal, and felt that it was ridiculous for him to be allowed to win the Player of the Year award, and be celebrated for that. On the other hand, I also believe that people deserve forgiveness, juxtaposed with the challenge of forgiving someone who doesn’t explain his part in a travesty. At the time, I felt the WSOP should have banned him, but in hindsight, I can see how complicated that decision would have been.

Full Tilt aside, Ferguson cashed in 17-events at the WSOP, including two final table appearances before travelling to Rozvadov to lock up the award at the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) with six cashes and a sixth career bracelet.

Forgetting his bad deeds for a moment, imagine how courageous it was for him to even appear at the event. I know the use of the word ‘courageous’ may offend some people, but set aside the brazen, unapologetic balls of the man, and how undeniably offensive it was for him even to take a seat – it still took courage.

Also, unless there is a ‘Chris Ferguson Home Game’ he returned in 2016, without as much as an orbit of top-class poker competition, outside of the WSOP, in six years.

I’ve decided I am not going to vote.

I don’t want to give him a vote, but it’s the performance that sticks in my head.

3. Most Likely to Succeed (Player currently 35 or Under to Win the Most Gold Bracelets between 2020-2070)

I once wrote that Dominik Nitsche would be the man to overtake Phil Hellmuth’s record because of his age, his ability and his love for the game. However, as Nitsche pointed out to me, that’s a bad call. If anyone is going to surpass Hellmuth’s record, then it has to be a mixed game player.

With this in mind, I am going to go for two people with a caveat separating the pair.

Justin Bonomo’s performances over the years have been incredible. If you set aside his unbelievable 2018 (winning $25.4m), and take a gander at his Hendon Mob stats, it’s apparent that had he run better at critical junctures in his WSOP experiences he wouldn’t be that far behind Hellmuth on the bracelet count.

The other person I would like to take a punt on is Shaun Deeb. His 2018 run was terrific, and his ability to compete at the highest level in all forms of poker is a testament to his love of the game. If I had to choose one of them I would go with Bonomo. My only reservation is whether his kindle still burns below his love for the game after achieving so much, contrary to Deeb, who you know is going to show up each year and try to win as many bracelets as possible.

4. Fan Favorite Player

I first fell in love with the WSOP watching the highlights on TV back home in the UK, and back then, Phil Hellmuth was the man I always wanted to watch.

Yeah, his behaviour is, at times, hugely disrespectful, but I find his outbursts as compelling as watching clips of John McEnroe back in the day. For me, it’s like watching a punch up in ice hockey, or a vicious tackle in football. It tells me something about the man’s love of the game. When Hellmuth goes for it, it’s more than mere petulance, you understand that this is his life, and it doesn’t matter how many books that Tony Robbins tells you are amazing without reading them, or how many hours of meditation he does, he will never change.

5. WSOP’s Favorite Bad Boy

See above.

6. Most Impressive Main Event Win

Martin Jacobson’s win in 2014 stands out for me because it showed what is possible when you treat poker like world-class professional sportsman handle their respective playgrounds. I also knew him and had always loved interviewing him, so that helps. There’s nothing better than having a vested interest in at least one person at the final table, and in 2014 mine was Jacobson. The fact that there was a film crew following him as he prepared for the November Nine was a bonus.

7. Four Most Important Players in WSOP History

I’m not much of a historian so I will keep it short and sweet.

1. Doyle Brunson.
2. Phil Hellmuth.
3. Chris Moneymaker.

These three are obvious.

Brunson for his early work in getting the thing off the ground, and Hellmuth and Moneymaker whose performances and personalities elevated the game to the mainstream audience.

4. The John Hesp Type

There must have been countless John Hesps in the past 50-years that gave people like me (enthusiastic poker fans dreaming of one day being a millionaire) the belief that anything is possible in this great game of ours.

How many of us can win Wimbledon, appear in the World Cup final, or win an Olympic gold medal?

We can all win the WSOP Main Event, and despite the skill gap widening thanks to the prevalence of AI-driven third-party software tools and a more holistic approach when it comes to the professionalism of the game, every so often a pensioner comes from nowhere forcing us to think of a reason to scran together ten large and book a flight to Vegas.

The post Op-ed: Choosing the winners of 7 categories at the WSOP’ First Fifty Honors’ appeared first on CalvinAyre.com.

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